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Flaxseeds reduce inflammation and protect the brain

August 22, 2023
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Flaxseeds reduce inflammation and protect the brain

To protect the microbiota and the brain and reduce neuroinflammation don't miss flaxseed! This emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in the journal Nutrients thanks to the work of a Canadian team (Livingston et al, Nutrients, 2023).

The gut is the heart of our health

A balanced and well-functioning microbiota is a good safe for present and future health. The microbiota is the set of bacteria that populate our gut and, when the good bacteria prevail, these produce particularly beneficial substances such as short-chain fatty acids with an anti-inflammatory action and useful for the well-being of the entire organism, including lungs, liver and brain. Sometimes, however, the bad bacteria take over due to conditions such as stress, poor diet, drug use or a sedentary lifestyle, just to name a few. Bad gut bacteria are also a major source of endotoxins, such as lipopolysaccharides, present in the cell wall of these bacteria. Lipopolysaccharides are associated with a large inflammatory response, both in the intestine and in distant organs such as the brain, with a weakening of the immune system and a long-term increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cellular degeneration but also neurodegeneration. What can we do to strengthen our microbiota and at the same time counteract these endotoxins and their harmful effects on the body? Nutrition seems to play an interesting role when it comes to strengthening the intestinal microbiota. In fact, as emerges from previous studies, the intake of probiotics but also of a diet rich in fibers have made it possible to counteract the harmful action of these endotoxins, reducing the levels of inflammation. The study we are talking about today has shown that flax seeds can also prove to be precious allies.

Flax seeds fight inflammation and protect the brain, the study

The research was carried out in the laboratory on a population of mice with high levels of lipopolysaccharides. For three weeks, one part of the mice received a standard diet, one part a standard diet with the addition of flaxseed, and one part a standard diet with the addition of flaxseed oil. What emerged is that flax seeds reduced the inflammatory response triggered by endotoxins, both in the intestine and in the brain. Not only that, flaxseeds have been able to support the intestinal microbiota, making it more diverse and rich in good bacteria with an anti-inflammatory action. Flaxseed oil has shown only a very limited endotoxin counteracting action. This suggests that these properties are due to other substances in addition to the omega 3 fatty acids contained in the oil. The research, however, did not offer an explanation to which substances to attribute this effect to.

Conclusions and ideas on how to take flax seeds

Flax seeds, therefore, can be added, always without excesses and within a healthy and varied diet, to one's daily diet. In this way we can protect the microbiota, strengthen it, counteract the harmful action of bad bacteria and reduce inflammation, even in the brain, thus saving the gut and brain. You can consume ground flax seeds, preferably on the spot with a coffee grinder, by adding them to yogurt or fruit salads. The recommended and considered safe dose is one tablespoon of flaxseed per day.

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